California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is denying fracking permits to oil companies in the state “in droves” despite the ongoing surge in gas prices, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, accelerating a policy that was only to have taken effect in 2024.
In April this year, as Breitbart News reported, Newsom announced that the state would end permits for fracking, also known hydraulic fracturing, by 2024, as an effort to phase out oil production entirely in California by 2045 to stop climate change.
However, the Chronicle reports, Newsom’s administration has begun implementing the process ahead of schedule, denying permits to expand existing fracking facilities — at a time when gas prices are near $6 per gallon in some parts of the state:
Gov. Gavin Newsom pledged the state would stop issuing new permits for fracking by 2024, but California has already begun to ban the controversial oil extraction method in practice by denying permits in droves with little fanfare.
Since July, the state has denied 109 permits to expand fracking. Many were rejected, in part, under a legal rationale the state hasn’t used before: that fracking could exacerbate the effects of climate change. State oil regulators, in their denial letters, argue it’s within their discretion to deny permits to protect the environment and public health, including through the “mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.”
The rejections are unprecedented and have drawn two lawsuits from opponents who say the Newsom administration has unlawfully imposed a de facto ban on fracking that makes the state more reliant on imported oil.
The fracking ban has a negligible effect on climate change, since it simply means the state must import oil from elsewhere, as drivers face higher prices at the pump, and as emissions from China and other developing countries continue to rise.
Ironically, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm attacked the fossil fuel industry on Tuesday, blaming it for allegedly not raising production at a time when prices are soaring an making a significant impact on Americans’ household budgets.
The administration blames oil and gas companies, and accuses them of price gouging. It also complains about foreign oil producers not increasing supply. However, it has not blamed the effect of Democrats’ radical climate change policies.
In a related move, the city of Richmond in the east San Francisco Bay reached a deal this week to stop allowing coal to be handled at its port terminal facilities, as part of an effort to fight climate change and also to lower local coal dust pollution.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.